11

If a Muggle-born Witch or Wizard was to die and they have a Gringott's account, the contents of which have been left to a non-magical Muggle within their family, how do Gringott's contact that person to inform them of their inheritance? Or would there be a Ministry of Magic law against such a thing occurring in order to protect the magical world from exposure to Muggles?

  • 3
    The account holder, being aware of the Statute of Secrecy, would probably have the sense to make sure they left the administration of their estate, if not the assets themselves, to someone within the wizarding world. That person, the executor, would then get the gold in Gringott's converted to Muggle money before passing it on to the Muggle beneficiary. – Rand al'Thor Jun 27 '16 at 0:35
  • Does the Statute of Secrecy make reference to such an event occuring or give a broader definition which is open to a witch or wizards own interpretation? My question made reference to Gringotts, thereby leaving the administration of their account to the Goblins, who are apart of the Wizarding world. I haven't heard previously of solicitors or lawyers within the magical world, who in the muggle world would normally be delegated with the task of executing their clients will, that's why I referred specifically to their bank account and Gringotts – Scanner Jun 27 '16 at 0:46
  • The executor of a will doesn't have to have any legal qualifications whatsoever. It's often a family member of the deceased, and I presume the same would be true in the wizarding world. – Rand al'Thor Jun 27 '16 at 0:47
  • Most of the time yes that's how it usually is but not always. And even when the executor is a family member there tends to be a solicitor involved at some point, as it is a legal document and can be challenged. That's why I mentioned Gringotts as they take their role of managing accounts very seriously, therefore they would be the prime example of ensuring your the contents of your vault are disposed of as you wished. – Scanner Jun 27 '16 at 0:52
12

The probate system is more complex than you're assuming. Gringott's wouldn't necessarily have to contact directly the person to whom the assets were left.

The deceased Muggle-born witch or wizard, when writing their will, should have named an executor, whose role is as follows (emphasis mine):

a person named by the maker of a will or nominated by the testator to carry out the instructions of the will. Typically, the executor is the person responsible for offering the will for probate, although it is not required that he fulfill this. The executor's duties also include disbursing property to the beneficiaries as designated in the will, obtaining information of potential heirs, collecting and arranging for payment of debts of the estate and approving or disapproving creditors' claims. An executor will make sure estate taxes are calculated, necessary forms are filed, and tax payments are made. They will also assist the attorney with the estate. Additionally, the executor acts as a legal conveyor who designates where the donations will be sent using the information left in bequests, whether they be sent to charity or other organizations. In most circumstances, the executor is the representative of the estate for all purposes, and has the ability to sue or be sued on behalf of the estate. The executor holds legal title to the estate property, but may not use the title or property for his/her own benefit, unless permitted by the terms of the will.

Being aware of the International Statue of Wizarding Secrecy, they would naturally make sure that the executor is either a wizard or a Muggle close enough to the wizarding world to know about it (e.g. their spouse or parent). They would not, of course, be restricted in their choice of beneficiaries: they can leave money or other assets to whomever they wish, including Muggles. It would be up to the executor to ensure that the Statute of Secrecy is not broken, e.g. by withdrawing gold from Gringott's and converting it to Muggle money before distributing it to Muggle beneficiaries.

  • Valid points and worth careful consideration. The assumption being that the muggle-born witch or wizard took heed to the International Statue kf Wizarding Secrecy. – Scanner Jun 27 '16 at 0:56
  • 3
    Muggle-borns are especially likely to be aware of the Statute of Secrecy: perhaps more so than other wizards, since they have to bear it in mind whenever they interact with the Muggles they grew up with before going to Hogwarts. And if they made a mistake and named a Muggle executor, their closest family (parents, spouse, children) would be exempt from the Statute of Secrecy if Muggles, so would be able to sort matters out somehow. – Rand al'Thor Jun 27 '16 at 1:02
  • Isn't this pure speculation? It may not be an unfair assumption that the wizarding world is the same as ours except when otherwise noted, but you should definitely clearly label your answer as being based on assumptions! – Jasper Jun 27 '16 at 14:02

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.